|Population||1,609 (2011 census)|
|Location||6 km (4 mi) SSW of Toowoomba|
Drayton is an outer southwestern suburb of Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia. Its local government area is the Toowoomba Region. It was first substantial settlement on the Darling Downs, initially being established in 1842. The nearby township of Toowoomba expanded more rapidly than Drayton, and in the 1860s the centre of population shifted to Toowoomba, leaving Drayton as a southwestern suburb.
Drayton started out as a settlement near a number of pastoral properties in the Eastern Downs in the early half of the 1840s. Thomas Alford, an early settler in the area who built a house, general store, and post office in the area, named the town after his home village in Somerset. Drayton continued to be the primary settlement in the region until the town of Toowoomba was established four miles to the north-east, whereupon the centre of population rapidly moved to the newer settlement owing to its better access to water and favourable growing conditions. By 1905, the Australian Handbook stated that the town "may now almost be considered a suburb of Toowoomba".
One of the oldest buildings in the Drayton area is the Royal Bull's Head Inn. The town also saw the area's first newspaper, the Darling Downs Gazette, in 1858. The National School (later Drayton State School) established in 1851, was one of the first in Queensland.
Drayton has a core of homes dating to the 19th century and a substantial number of homes and commercial premises dating from the mid years of the 20th century. More recently a large number of detached homes and growing numbers of multi-unit dwellings were built in the 1990s and 2000s, mostly targeted at students from the nearby University of Southern Queensland.
To the west of Drayton, the southern part of ANZAC Avenue forms the axis of a growing industrial and commercial district extending west and north towards Glenvale.
Drayton has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
- Beatrice Street: St Matthew's Anglican Church
- Brisbane Street: Royal Bull's Head Inn
- 56 Gwynne Street: O'Shea's Drayton Cottage
Drayton lies in the Toowoomba Region, a local government area in Queensland. Toowoomba elects Councillors from the Region as a whole rather than from wards/districts, so there is no local representative as such. From 1887 to 1949, Drayton had its own local government, the Shire of Drayton.
Royal Bull's Head Inn
- 1847-48: Inn first built; founded by William Horton, an English convict
- 1858: Currently extant brick and plastered timber structure substantially complete
- 1879: No longer in use as an inn, became a private home
- 1973: Purchased by the National Trust
- 1976: Ongoing restoration began
The building now serves as a show-case of life in the 1870s. Some rooms have been maintained in their original state.
- Arthur Hoey Davis, better known as author Steele Rudd, was born in Drayton in 1868.
- Reverend Benjamin Glennie, pioneer Anglican clergyman served the Darling Downs for many years and was resident in Drayton from 1850 to 1860 and from 1872 to 1876
- James Purcell, an important figure in the Queensland dairy industry in the early 20th century, was born in Drayton.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Drayton (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
- "Drayton and Drayton Shire". Queensland Places. University of Queensland. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
- "Drayton and Drayton Shire". Queensland Places. University of Queensland. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- "Royal Bull's Head Inn". Australian Council of National Trusts ABN 54 008 444 684. 27 June 2013. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
- "St Matthews Church of England (entry 15612)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-15.
- "Royal Bull's Head Inn (entry 15613)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-15.
- "O'Shea's Drayton Cottage (entry 16081)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-15.
- Ikin, Van (1981). "Australian Dictionary of Biography: Davis, Arthur Hoey (1868–1935)". Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- "Glennie, Benjamin (1812–1900)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- French, M. (1988). "Australian Dictionary of Biography: Purcell, James (1874–1953)". Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- University of Queensland: Queensland Places: Drayton and Drayton Shire
- National Trust Queensland - Bulls Head Inn
- Bulls Head Inn Information on Drayton State School's webpage
- Drayton State School
- Queensland Place Histories - Drayton, Queensland - John Oxley Library Blog, State Library of Queensland